I first volunteered in Romania during my third year as a mental health nursing student in 2017. It was one of the best experiences of my life, as a nursing student it taught me a lot about myself and also to appreciate the resources we have available, both living and working in the UK. Meeting the children was great, and it was great to see the children were happy and all of this was thanks to the Life Foundation. For me though being able to experience the adult institution and being able to work with the adults was a real experience and one that will stay with me forever. When I first visited the adults in my first year, I found it quite overwhelming. However, seeing the impact us volunteers had on the residents gave me a great feeling about the work we were doing and also a sense of pride.
Following my first experience, I signed up to volunteer again for two weeks in 2018. This time myself and a friend were allowed to join the adult trip, which meant the first week was spent visiting the children and the second week was spent at the adult institution. As we were there every day, we were able to really interact with the adults using lots of positive interaction and play.
Whilst you are out in Romania you stay in a beautiful place called Slatina, in a flat which is very central. You will have a local guide called Norica who is amazing and really supportive and also other locals who will accompany you to the children’s homes and adult institution and act as an interpreter so that you are always supported.
The good thing about this organisation is that it is open to anyone who is willing to go out and give everything they have to ensure they have the best two-week experience and work hard. Not only are you doing something positive for others, but for anyone looking to pursue a career in any caring capacity, this will give you lots of experience.